Illinois River Run on May 2, 2021 (rainy-day date: May 16)

Well folks, the weather should be sunny on May 2: highs of 75F in Peru and 91F (?) in Peoria. We’re on for May 2!

It’d be great to get a head count, in case I need to give a heads up to the restaurants. So far we likely will have at least eight cars —
(and anyone else who is interested and can make it).[/USER]

Count me in! @SGVert and the Sportsgrain will be in attendance, with the top down

Keep me posted if the rendezvous at Starved Rock changes; I agree that would most likely be a zoo there, but I don’t get out that way much, so I don’t know of an alternative site to start at.

This will be the longest cruise I’ve had the car on since I bought it, so it’s long overdue! Interested in my actual gas mileage on a trip as I have never checked it over a full tank of gas. I’m guessing about 11-12 mpg???
You should be measuring smiles per mile instead Mark!
Oh I will, I don’t care about the gas mileage other than knowing how frequently I need to fill up. I’m so spoiled by modern vehicles that tell you instantly your mpg and miles left to go!
My gas gauge does seem to be pretty accurate
it might be a good idea to find another meeting point as opposed to the Starved Rock visitors center. On weekends it's jam packed
I'd suggest another meeting place too. Maybe there's a FCBO member in the area that can suggest an alternative.
Keep me posted if the rendezvous at Starved Rock changes; I agree that would most likely be a zoo there
@BLIMP's better half has a good point, all the more so that the weather will be great in Peru next Sunday (75F and sunny). I googled things around last night, and propose the Illinois Valley Community College's parking lot as the new meeting point. It offers space, a nice backdrop of trees to take photos, and should be accessible:

41.30587741105866, -89.09999844232064
parking lot Illinois Valley CC.png

Coming from I-39, the parking lot is about 1.5 miles NW of exit 54. Here is where exactly we shall meet on the lot:
new meeting point Illinois Valley CC.png

directions to parking lot.png
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Great idea, much better place to meet.

That works well for me too. My route from home shows about 82 miles to get there, just over 2 hours drive time (I'll be taking slower roads to get there). I'll leave in plenty of time to get into Oglesby and make a pitstop at the Shell station in town to top off before heading to the College parking lot. I'm really looking forward to this!

Since I haven't been on one these before, what is the communication method if something comes up with anyone while on the road?
All right, folks, we shall meet at the IVCC at 11AM and leave from there at 11:30AM!

There are five gas stations around Exit 54, which is the one to take if using I-39 to get to the IVCC. As @SGVert indicated, it would be a good idea for everyone to have refueled before our little caravan leaves the parking lot so that, at 11:30, we can just start our cars and drive off to Peoria.

I am a big fan of smaller roads, too. So, from the IVCC, I suggest that we take IL-62 south (E 350th Road) to IL-23 (Walnut St), turn right on IL-23, make a left on IL-251 and immediately make a right on E 350th Road, follow it till we can make a right at the intersection with N 24th Rd, take 24th till we can make a left on E 275th Rd, and follow that little country road till we hit IL-71. We make a right on 71, and go on our merry way.

directions from parking lot.png

The rest of the itinerary is unchanged. We follow IL-71 west till just before the town of Hennepin, where we take IL-26 till that road ends at IL-116. We make a soft right on 116 (aka North Main St) and drive south to the Burger Barge for lunch in East Peoria (1401 N Main St, East Peoria, IL). We should arrive around 1PM.

road to Burger Barge.png

We can decide at lunch time whether we want to go visit the Wildlife Prairie Park in Hanna City, ten miles west of Peoria, on the way back (see my post at the start of this thread for photos of the return route to Peru).
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Here are some photos I took of the Illinois Valley Community College parking lot, where we will be gathering on Sunday at 11. The Visitors parking lot is our meeting point -- there are no gates to block access.

Here is what to expect as you approach the campus, driving north on IL-62 (a mile or so west of I39, Exit 54):


After you have entered the campus, make a right:


Then follow the road you're on, bearing left when given a chance. You'll pass a number of student parking lots (read: far from the buildings) ...



... before arriving at the visitors' lot -- our meeting point:


Here is Medina showing what to expect as a backdrop for photos. She'll be there Sunday!

IMG_0295 reframed.JPG
Beautiful day for it guys, enjoy! We've got #1 vs #2 (us) in the standings of the intermediate division for 1st and 2nd graders flag football so it's going to be intense!:D
Beautiful day for it guys, enjoy! We've got #1 vs #2 (us) in the standings of the intermediate division for 1st and 2nd graders flag football so it's going to be intense!:D
The Newport made it with flying colors!

Topped up when I got here and avg was 10.8 mpg...

I don’t think I got it close to full when I left though because the gauge after this fill up is way higher
We left Seneca at 10:40. IL-71 was great to the IVCC


Here we are on the college parking lot at 11:35.



Grandview Drive is grand!




All the cars look great.
Glad you had nice weather for the cruise.
It was a great day! I logged 286 miles in the Newport, most I’ve put on it in one day. In fact that is more than I have been driving it in a year... that bad habit has come to an end. I’m hooked on backroad cruising now

I calculated my mileage for the last 209 miles. I was able to fill it up to the exact fill level the last 2 times and I averaged 15.9 mpg!

@ayilar, thanks for setting up the cruise, it went very smoothly and it was great to spend the day with everyone!

First off a big thanks to ayilar for putting on the Illinois River Run. The stop at the Burger Barge, the menu didn't disappoint. Had a great time reacquainting w/ members. the photos below tell it all.